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The Altamont enterprise. (Altamont, N.Y.) 1983-2006, September 29, 1983, Image 4

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Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn86011850/1983-09-29/ed-1/seq-4/

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w McKownville: News And Comment By LINDSAY CHILDS Isn't progress wonderful? Were you fortunate enough to try to drive on Western Ave', near the end of the Northway last Thurs- day? That was the day when the steel beams supporting the new bridge over Western Avenue were put in place. The bridge is part of the highway plan for the Crossgates Mall, and is being paid for by the Pyramid Crossgates Co. One McKownville resident tried to drive from the middle school to Fuller Road, leaving the middle school at 5:45 p.m. The three-mile trip took 40 minutes. And at that hour of the day, one would expect Western Ave, to be more congested traveling from Fuller Road towards the middle school than the other way. At 6:45 p.m. your correspondent started out from Fuller Road towards the Westmere School, about a mile down Western Ave. In front of Stuyvesant Plaza and as far as could be seen past School- house Road, the road looked like a parking lot. Nothing was moving. (I did a right turn into the Plaza and got to the Westmere School via Washington Ave. Extension and Rapp Road). I wonder what would happen to emergency vehicles caught in that traffic crunch? Usually a highway gets that badly tied up only as the result of a serious accident. But the traffic tie-up of last Thursday was simply caused by the bridge construction people closing off most of Western Ave. Their decision to do this during the peak traffic hours of the afternoon demonstrated a remark- able insensitivity to the public convenience and safety. Town Election Campaign This is the season for political campaigning by the candidates for local public office. It's the season for signs and sign wars (starting in 10 days), for door-to-door greet- ings, for passing out campaign brochures with smiling family pictures, for creating and selec- tively distributing party platforms, for releasing statements on issues and non-issues, and so on. For a candidate without a prior record of public service, such activities are mostly all the public has available for judging the candidate. In the present campaign for Town offices, however, we have, at least for Town Council (Town Board), two candidates of opposite parties who have records of four years of participation on the Town Board. John Smircich and Virginia Horan were both elected for the first time in November 1979, and this is their first opportunity to present themselves for re-election to the Town Board. (Both have been in elections in between, however —• Mr, Smircich just survived a tough JRepublican primary to obtain the nomination, and Mrs. Horan ran an unsuccess- ful campaign in 1980 for the State Assembly against Mike Hoblock.) During the past four years, the most controversial issues to come. before the Town Board were those involving zoning. So it is appro- priate at this time to review the more controversial questions in- volving zoning and planning de- cided by the Town Board during the past four years, and see what the two candidates, and, during the past two years, Supervisor Kevin Moss, actually did, how they actually voted, on these issues. We'll review them in chronological order. Mr. Smircich and Mrs. Horan took office on Jan. 1,1980; Jan. 8, 1980, Crossgates: Mrs. Horan introduced a resolution to rescind the zoning change on the Crossgates Mall site which was passed by the Town Board in August 1978. That 1978 zoning change altered the zoning on the site from COR tConference-Office- Research) to Br2 (general busi- ness), and made other zoning alterations on the edges of the site. The change was requested by Crossgates in order to permit automotive repair facilities in the proposed Mali. A shopping center was permitted in a COR zone, but not with automotive repair. The 1978 zoning change aroused intense opposition, including a tumultuous public hearing, but passed;, 3-2, with Councilmen John Ryan, Donald Cropsey and Pauline Porter in favor,, and Supervisor Carl Walters and Councilman Roy McNiyen opposed. Mrs. Horan defeated Mrs. Porter in the 1979 election, and Mr. McNiven retired from the board after the 1979 election. Mrs. Horan's rescinding resolu- tion was defeated, 4-1, with Mr. Smircich joining his Republican colleagues in opposition. Mrs. Horan then introduced a resolution which called for a review of the town's zoning master plan, and, pending completion of that review, called for an eight- month moratorium on new build- ing construction in the town. The moratorium idea aroused much negative comment, and the resolu- tion was defeated, 4-1, with Mrs. Horan in favor and Mr. Smircich opposed. Mr. Smircich then proposed a resolution calling on the supervisor to appoint a citizens committee to review the master plan, but without a moratorium. This resolu- tion passed, 3-2, with Mrs. Horan, Mr. Smircich and Mr. Cropsey in favor, and Mr. Ryan and Mr. Walters opposed. The committee was, in due course, appointed by Mr. Walters, given a mandate by Mr. Walters to consider general concepts rather than zoning problems in specific areas of the town, and began meeting in April 1980, April 8,1980, Loeber: The board was asked to rezone a parcel of land on Carman Road owned by Connie Loeber from residential to B-l (business). During the public hearing, a number of the neighbors expressed opposition. The board turned down the zoning change, 3-2. Votingto deny the change were Mrs. Horan, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Cropsey; voting in favor of the change were Mr. Walters and Mr. Smircich. Mrs. Horan cited her desire for a moratorium pending the master plan review in explain- ing her vote. Feb. 10,1981, Bob Howard: Mr. Howard, the realtor, brought before the Town Board a request to rezone the block on the southwest corner of Western Ave. and Johnston Road, the block contain- ing the Hess gasoline station, from R-15 (residential!) to B-l (busi- ness). Mr. Howard wished the change so that he could transform a residence into an office building, the building which now contains Metroland Realty and a dentist office. During the public hearing, concern was expressed about traffic at that intersection, so near the Crossgates site and the Westmere School, and what would happen if the parcel were more intensively developed than in the way Mr. Howard had in mind. The board approved the zoning change by a 4-1 vote. Mrs. Horan voted in favor. Mr. Smircich was opposed. He said that he was afraid that the site could eventually end up with something -totally different from what Mr. Howard was proposing to the board, since the zoning change involved six different parcels with six different owners. March 10, 1981, Quadrini: The board was asked to vote on a zoning change on the parcel of land on Western Ave. next to the Price Chopper in Westmere so that Armand Quadrini could build the office building which now contains the Guilderland Public Library. The board approved the change, 4-1, with Mr. Smircich in favor and Mrs. Horan opposed; Mrs. Horan expressed concerns with traffic and the feeling that there was enough commercial property in The Altamont Enterprise — Thursday, September 29, 3983 TRI-CITY T0WIH6, IMC. 869-0971 AND Qetty AUTO COSMETICS BODY WORK — PINSTRIPING 869-0973 2516 Western Ave. — Guilderland OUR SERVICES NOW INCLUDE: Complete Body Work - Complete Automotive Service-Foreign & Domestic NiASE Certified Mechanics 24 Hour Towing £r Road Service ASH ABOUT COUPON SPECIAL — Complete • BODY REPLACEMENT PANELS! • OUR TUNE-UP SPECiALS! —— l— — -COUPON*— —\- T\ —— COUPON « FREE I NEW YORK STATE D i. /> . * ui 5 INSPECTION, J HUD-UUt&WaX I with Lube, Oil & Filter 1 *65.00 Offer Good All Year POWER FLUSH ENTIRE COOLING SYSTEM -2 Gal. Anti-freeze Pius All Chemicals $21 «95 Offer Good Through October 7 « On Gas, Ditsel Full and Service Si^^^^S^*^ Montgomery Ward Auto Club ^vw*^^^-* that area already, as reasons for her opposition. April 14, 1981, Cassidy: The Cassidy property on Western Ave. west of 20 Mall and just east of Winding Brook Drive (the road leading down to JFairwood Apart- ments) came up for a. zoning change from R-15 (residential) to B-l (business). The board ap- proved the zoning change by a 3-2 vote, with Messrs. Ryan, Walters and Smircich in favor, and Mr. Cropsey and Mrs. Horan opposed. Those in favor cited the potential benefits to the tax base of the town of development on that vacant parcel; those opposed felt that B-l was not the right zoning, and would not encourage the highest and best use of the land. Since then, no development has occurred on that parcel. May 12, 1981, McDonald's:: The board considered changing the zoning on a parcel of Hand which includes- McDonald's hamburgers on Western Ave. between Church Road and'ChapmanjDrdvefrom B-l to BT2. The change was to permit McDonald's to put in a drive-dn window. The zoning change pass- ed, 4-1. Mr. Smircich was opposed because of the potential impact on neighboring residences. Mrs. Horan voted in favor, citing the convenience of the drive-in facility to the handicapped. June 9,1981, Stewart's: ,A zoning change from B-l to B-2 on the parcel on the southwest corner of Western Ave. and Eoute 146 was sought so that Stewart's Ice Cream could put in.a gasoline station. The change passed 3-2; with Messrs. Ryan, Cropsey and Smircich in favor, and Walters in opposition. Mrs. Horan was also opposed, expressing the .grounds that the new {gasoline station would create additional undesirable competition with existing gasoline stations, many of which were suffering. Sept. 8,1981, Curry Roads The board unanimously voted to deny a zoning change for a large parcel on Curry Road which would ihave permitted the development of a regional shopping center on .the parcel, near Exit 25 of the Thruway. Jan. i, 1982; In the ^November elections, Kevin Moss was elected supervisor, replacing the retired Carl Walters, and James Cleary was elected to the Town Board, •defeating John Ryan by 10 votes. Donald Cropsey was re-elected. Jan.. 2S, 1982, Crossgates:: The Master Plan Review Committee, appointed hy Supervisor Walters as the result of Mr. Smircich's resolution on Jan. 8, 1980, had recommended, among other things, an increased flexibility in density requirements for residen- tial developments, and the creation of a new light industrial zoning classification. These and other recommendations were incorpor- ated into a comprehensive revision of the town'szoninglaw which was introduced to the board on Jan. 26 by Supervisor Moss. As part of that proposed local law, Mr. Moss proposed that several sites in the town be rezoned to lightandustrial. One of the proposed sites was the Crossgates site. The proposed zoning change on the Crossgates site would have blocked construc- tion of a shopping center, since shopping centers would not be a permitted use in a light-industrial zone. The first step in the rezoning process was to vote to proceed to a public Shearing on the proposed local law and on the proposed rezoning of the Crossgates site and the other sites. The voteto hold a public hearing was defeated toy ithe iboard, 3^2: Noting in favor of proceeding to a public hearing on the rezoning were Mr. Moss and Mr. Smircich. Voting in opposition ito proceeding ito a public Shearing, and thereby voting in faivor of Ikilling ithe proposed rezoning of ithe Cross- gates site, were Mr. Cleary, Mr, Cropsey, andMrs. JHoran. May Mi, 1982, Gardner Road: The iboard considered a proposal ito rezone 18.1 acres of agriculturally zoned land near Altamont on iRoute 146 opposite Gardner Road ito residential. The change was ap- proved, 4-1, with Mr. Smircich in favor,, and Mrs. Horan opposed. She expressed concern over the toss of agricultural land. Aug. 10, 1982. Serafini: The board wasasked to rezone a parcel of land of Lirigi Serafini on Carman Road -near St. Madeleine Sophie ChurchfromB-1 (((business)) ito R-B (residential-business) to permit the construction of a mix of offices and apartments. The change was approved, 44), with Mrs. Horan abstaining. Both Mrs. Horan and Mr. Smircich urged that a compre- hensive examination be made of zoning along Carman Road. Short- ly thereafter, a committee was formed to do just that. Sept. 14, 1982, O'Hanlons: The (Continued on Page 4;) Conner of Allien and Central 489-5461 — Weekly Special florist, inc. 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